Hampshire Astronomical Group

Established 1960, Online since 1998

Observatory Accessibility


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Hampshire Astronomical Group welcome you!

Formed in 1960 in Portsmouth the ‘Hampshire Astronomical Group’ has grown into one of the finest and largest amateur astronomical observatories in the UK.

Located high on a hill on the South Coast of England in the village of Clanfield (between Petersfield and Portsmouth) you will find a superbly equipped Observatory with a very active and enthusiastic membership.

We have a full program of Public Open evenings throughout the year at the Observatory coupled with monthly interesting and educational talks held at the ‘Clanfield Memorial Hall – Clanfield’ where you are more than welcome to attend.

Feel free to browse this website, it is constantly up-dated, so do re visit often.

Clear Nights and Dark Skies,

Richard Judd - President
Hampshire Astronomical Group

What's on in the next month...

There are no events scheduled.

Astronomy for Beginners Course

Astronomy is the oldest science and throughout the ages mankind has had a fascination for the night sky. This twenty-week course for adults over two terms, on Monday evenings from 7.15pm to 9.00pm at Clanfield Observatory, starting on Monday, 15th September 2014, is intended to introduce a basic understanding of astronomy with an emphasis on activities carried out by amateurs.

The course will include observations through some of the telescopes we have, when weather conditions permit.

As there is currently a surge of interest in astronomy, the course quickly fills up, so early enrolment is strongly recommended. 

For more details check out our Courses for All page: 

Or to book your place on the course please contact Robin Gorman by email: robin.gorman@hantsastro.org.uk

Southdowns Planetarium

The South Downs Planetarium is a registered educational charity, which is run by a small team of experienced and dedicated volunteers.
The Planetarium operates throughout the year, but is not open every day.

Members of the public are welcome to visit the Planetarium at the show times listed on this website.

Public Shows and Dates

Monday 25th August - 1.30pm - All Aboard - A Tour of the Planets

Monday 25th August - 3.30pm - All Aboard - A Tour of the Planets

Wednesday 27th August - 3.30pm - The Northern Lights

Thursday 28th August - 3.30pm - Seven Wonders of the Solar System

Friday 29th August - 7.30pm - The Northern Lights

Sunday 31st August - 3.30pm - Summertime Stars, Moon and Planets

As seats sell out fast, it is essential to book your seat.

Admission Prices: £6.00 for adults, or £4.00 for children 6 to 16yrs. Cash or Cheque Only

The South Downs Planetarium Trust is a Registered Educational Charity No. 1096869.

For further information about all South Downs Planetarium activities, contact: 

The South Downs Planetarium and Science Centre
Sir Patrick Moore Building
Kingsham Farm
Kingsham Road
West Sussex PO19 8RP

For Sat Nav Users:-

Enter PO19 8AE

Tel: 01243 774400 Ticket hotline: 07818 297292

e-mail: sdownsplanet@btconnect.com


What's on between next month and 6 months...

10th October
The Exploding Universe: A Party in the Sky
A talk by Rene Breton
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
25th October
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Uranus, Pleiades, M15 or M57
- start time 7:30pm

More details...
26th October
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Uranus, Pleiades, M15 or M57
- start time 7:30pm

More details...
14th November
A talk by Dr Robin Catchpole
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
29th November
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon, Pleiades, Uranus or M15
- start time 7:30pm

More details...
30th November
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon, Pleiades, Uranus or M15
- start time 7:30pm

More details...
12th December
The Amazing Voyage of Herschel
A talk by Mark Kidger
Clanfield Observatory - start time 7:45pm

More details...

Astronomical Events for August 2014


3 August - evening - The Moon which is at nearly first quarter can be found between Mars and Saturn.

8 August - 10:00 BST - rho-1 Sagitarii is occulted by the Moon.  It is best to use binoculars to view the occultation due to the brightness of the Moon.

10 August - 20:00 BST - The full Moon is at lunar perigee and will be at its largest at 33 arcminutes and 28 arcseconds for the second time this year.

23 August - 04:45 BST - Jupiter and Venus can be found near a crescent Moon.  Look for them low in the east-northeast.

31 August - 20:30 BST - The Moon and Saturn are in conjunction.


2 August - Mercury and Jupiter are 1.5° apart.  As they are only 6.5° west of the Sun, it is best to look for them just before sunrise where they can be seen low in the northeast.

15 August - before dawn - Jupiter can be found low in the east-north-east.

18 August - Jupiter and Venus are in conjunction and are separated by 12 arcminutes.  Look for them just before sunrise.  M44 can be seen in the background.

25 August - evening - Mars can be found 3.5° south of Saturn.  They appear low in the southwest.

29 August - Neptune is at opposition and can be found in Aquarius.

31 August - 05:30 BST - Jupiter will be almost 20° above the horizon.


12 August - evening - Look for Comet C/2014 E2 Jacques which can be seen approximately 1° from NGC 1528 (Perseus).

19 August - Comet C/2014 E2 Jacques can be found crossing the Heart and Soul Nebulae in Cassiopeia.  For more information see page 51 of the BBC Sky and Night Magazine - August edition.

22 August - Comet C/2014 E2 Jacques can be found near Epsilon Cassiopeiae at the eastern end of Cassiopeia.

28 August - Comet C/2014 E2 Jacques will be 3° from M52 (Cassiopeia).

Meteor Showers

13 August - 01:00 BST - Peak of the Perseids with a ZHR of 80 meteors an hour, although there will be an almost full Moon spoiling the view.  Start looking from 22:00 BST on 12 August.


August - Keep a look out for Noctilucent clouds which can be found low in the northwest 1-2 hours after sunset and low in the northeast 1-2 hours before sunrise.

Moon Image Credit: Steve Knight
Jupiter Image Credit: NASA
Comet Image Credit: Steve Futcher

Winchester Science Centre & Planetarium Lecture Series

10th September - Space Weather, Past, Present and Future

Prof Clive Dyer (University of Surrey Space Centre)

Adult evening lectures on the second Wednesday's of the Month at 4.30pm and 6.30pm, each follow by a short Planetarium Show about the months sky.

These events often sell out so pre-book or call to check on (01962) 863791

For more details and tickets please visit the Intech web site

After Dark at Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium

After Dark: adults only

Tues 16 Sept, Weds 15 Oct, Thurs 6 Nov, Tues 2 Dec

Visit the planetarium and play about in the exhibition after the kids have gone home. Activities run throughout the evening so no problem if you cannot get here for 6pm or if you need to leave early.

Ticket price: £10/£8 including one planetarium show and entry to the centre. Add the other show for just +£2.

Teachers: free entry (includes one show); send requests in advance by email using your school/college email address.

Online booking (if you want to see both shows, add the second on the next page)

Telephone bookings (01962) 891925. Please have your credit/debit card ready. If the front desk is too busy for staff to answer your call straight away you can leave your number and they will call you back.

Strictly ages 18yr+ (if you're lucky enough to look younger, please bring ID).

For more details of the events please check out After Dark

What's on after the next 6 months...

There are no events scheduled.